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Michael T Millar
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Michael Millar’s Answers

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  • Hello! I signed contract for purchasing a condo showing mortgage on it, then i changed it to cash (contract for it wasn't signed

    then i attend condo assoc meeting and found out that additional assessment took place and it will cost me extra 5k, so i notified seller of refusing to buy. my attorney used mortgage contingency to walk out of contract since contract about cash wa...

    Michael’s Answer

    Your contract governs your rights and your responsibilities in the transaction. You should be directing these questions to your attorney.

    The right to cancel under the mortgage contingency presupposes that you first made a mortgage application and were denied. If you never applied for a mortgage, then it does not provide a basis to cancel.

    There may be other bases to cancel. For example, if the seller knew of the assessment and did not disclose it, then the seller may have committed fraud by omission.

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  • How to find out if a corporation is still registered in State of New Jersey?

    My Landlord is taking rent from me payable to a corporation and has signed a lease in name of that corporation. I have received information from sources that his corporation is not active from quite some time in the State of New Jersey. First o...

    Michael’s Answer

    To find out if a business is in good standing, you may order a standing report from the state's web site. The cost is $6.25.

    https://www.njportal.com/DOR/businessrecords/EntityDocs/BusinessStatCopies.aspx

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  • Cancellation of contract for sale of land and return of deposit

    I am cancelling a contract for the purchase of a lot and want to know if there is ever a case where I do not have to refund the deposit?

    Michael’s Answer

    Whether you are entitled to retain the deposit will be found in your contract. As a general rule, absent a contract clause permitting you to retain the deposit, you are not entitled to the deposit but only to those damages you sustained by the Buyer's breach

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  • IN NEW JERSEY, HOW DO YOU CALCULATE CLOSING FEES. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO DO A WRAP AROUND MORTGAGE

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    Michael’s Answer

    You ask two questions: (1) how do you calculate closing fees? and (2) what is the cost of a wrap around mortgage?

    (1) As my colleagues have stated, closing fees vary greatly from transaction to transaction. For a Buyer of a single family home, your fees will typically include mortgage fees, property taxes, homeowners insurance, title insurance, survey, home inspection, pest inspection, recording fees and attorney fees.

    (2) A wrap around mortgage involves selling the home to Buyer with the Seller's mortgage remaining in place - the Seller gives the Buyer a second mortgage for the purchase price less any agreed upon amount. The Buyer pays the Seller on the second mortgage and the Seller then pays the first lender. Attorneys typically bill by the hour for drafting mortgage documents. Thus the cost of preparing a wrap is dependent upon the time needed to prepare the documents. You should note that if a pay upon transfer clause is found in the first mortgage, a wrap will violate the first mortgage because the property is deeded from Seller to Buyer and could result acceleration (I.e. The entire amount owed becomes due).

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  • Can an outside contractor put a lean on your house for partial payment since it never passed the building inspection?

    The heating company that put in my heating system has not passed the building inspection 2 times is threating to put an lean on my house. We have paid him 1/2 of the cost of the job. We have multi texts and email from this company. The heating sys...

    Michael’s Answer

    In order for the contractor to file a construction lien against your home, he has to follow a 3 step process. First, within 60 days of when he last performed work or supplied goods at your home, he has to file a Notice of Unpaid Balance ("NUB") and send a copy to you. Second, he must then file for AAA arbitration under NJ construction rules. Finally, it is only after the arbitrator decides if he is entitled to a lien and the amount of any permissible lien, that he may then file a construction lien. Most, if not a majority of small construction liens, are improperly filed because they did not follow all three steps. If they file an improper lien because, for example, they neither filed a NUB or completed arbitration, then you can file an Order to Show Cause to have the lien removed and they contractor is liable for your attorney fees and court costs.
    Under the NJ Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), a contractor cannot demand payment in full until the project is completed. If the heater has not passed final inspection, then he is not entitled to final payment.
    The permit issue is likely not important because you likely do not have any damages related to it.
    If you believe the heating system is either improperly installed or defective, you will likely need another HVAC company to look at the unit and give you an estimate to repair or replace. That will establish both a set-off to the first contractor's claim and establish damages for a CFA claim against the contractor.

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  • I sold a car in 2000 he gave me 11000.00 owes 9000.00. is there a statue of limitations on this? the title is still in my name

    i sold a car in 2000 for 20000 a 1966 corvette convt. the buyer was supposed to give a deposit take the car and pay me off within 30 days. he owes 9000.00 the title was never changed to him and the title is still in my possession and in our name. ...

    Michael’s Answer

    It sounds like you had a contract to sell the car. The statute of limitations for a breach of contract is six years. Thus, you cannot sue for the balance 15 years later (unless you can show that he re-affirmed the debt at some point within the last six years). There is no fee shifting for a contract case - thus, you would not have to pay attorney fees.
    The interesting issue is that you retain title to the car, but not possession. You should retain an attorney to represent your interests. Arguably, as the title owner, you should be able to sue for replevin (return) of the goods. However, that claim may be time barred too.

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  • General contractor did not complete work. Paid almost 25,000 . He was supposed to be done in January. We are in May now and stil

    He was supposed to be done in January. We are in May now and still nothing. He keeps giving excuses about his wife being sick.

    Michael’s Answer

    I would need more information to give a more detailed response. Home improvement contracts are governed by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and implanting regulations including the Contractor's Registration Act. The CFA and CRA provide, among other things, that the contractor has to give you a written contract with a start date and a completion date. And, if they dates change, the contractor is required to get a signed change order. With the little information provided, it would appear that the contractor has violated the CFA.
    The next issue is what are your damages? If the job is unfinished, what will be the cost to finish it? Is that amount more than the original contract amount? (If you can complete the job for less, you may have no damages due the CFA violation)

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  • Real estate, home equity loan

    I came across a home to purchase that is a decent amount lower than the value of the home. I cannot puchase the home without a co-signer. I have someone who is willing to co sign, but want to be off as quick as possible. If I purchase the h...

    Michael’s Answer

    As a legal matter, there is nothing preventing you from doing what you suggest. However, as my colleagues point out, to accomplish your goal you will need the ability to refinance to remove the co-signer from the loan. You should be working with a mortgage lender on that issue.

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  • Can I sell my house on my own, DO I NEED A REALTOR.

    I have to sell do to the elevation issue. I need to save as much money as I can. Have 2 Mtgs. to pay off, NO MTG. INS.

    Michael’s Answer

    You are not required to utilize the services of a realtor. However, they provide a valuable service by marketing your home on the MLS and other forums. A realtor's fee is negotiable.

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  • We had purchased a house, the sellers had septic inspected. Not working since we moved in. Do we have legal recourse?

    We purchased a house before new year, the sellers had it inspected. When we moved it there was a lot of rain. Our front yard was very saturated we figured it was due to the rain. When it tried up it was still wet. We noticed our toilets were gurgl...

    Michael’s Answer

    Whether you can sue the Seller will depend on what your contract of sale stated and what the Seller knew prior to closing (or, more, appropriately what you can prove the Seller knew prior to closing).. For example, did you have an inspection clause? Does the contract provide that you accept the property "as is" if you do not perform your own inspections?
    Whether you can sue the septic inspection company is a difficult question and may depend on the contract between the Seller and the septic inspection company. In contract law, an "intended" third party beneficiary of a contract may sue on the contract - but an "incidental" third party beneficiary may not. Thus, one would have to see all of the documents to determine what your rights are.

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